This weekend the movie adaptation of Don Miller‘s best-selling book “Blue Like Jazz” opens in select theaters (only 150 to be exact). The book on which the movie is based was Don’s personal journey of faith, family and friendship. It gives an authentic and often irreverent look at the Christian faith in a way that moved people on both sides of the spectrum of belief.
Six years ago he and director Steve Taylor set out to put the book to film. After a valiant effort to raise the funds, the project nearly died when in September 2010 Don blogged about the fact they were still coming up short. The film would be on hold indefinitely.
Enter Zach Prichard and Jonathan Frazier, two passionate fans who started a Kickstarter campaign to save the film. They needed to raise $125,000 in ten days. They raised over $340,000! It was the largest crowd-funded film in history (I think it may still hold that title).
So now the film is made and being distributed by Roadside Attractions. But it’s only in 150 theaters. If it doesn’t have a stellar opening, it may be pulled. So the call is going out to get people to see it.
Here are three reasons why I think you should support this film and watch it this weekend if it’s in your area:
- Set the stage for future indie filmmakers. The story behind the making of this film is nothing short of a miracle. But it also paves the way for other indie filmmakers to do the same. Let’s show Hollywood that this is a viable way to create a movie and indie films are worth supporting. If this movie continues on its successful run, you have a case study to point to for your own future filmmaking endeavors.
- An important film about personal faith. Whether or not you’re a Christian, the book (and the movie) honestly and authentically explores questions we have all struggled with at one point. Does God exist? What role has the church played in the “evils” of the world? What do I believe and why? It’s safe to say that most (if not all) “Christian” films have a very specific Christian agenda. That has its good points and its bad. This is a film that has no agenda other than for you as a viewer to embrace honest questions in an honest way, and be brave enough to come out the other side, committed to your convictions, no matter what they may be.
- Fuel the Conversation. There are Christian-based organizations and churches who are actually hindering the process of the film. Some did not like the fact that in the trailer, the main character says “he’s ashamed of Jesus.” (Which is funny because the greatest apostle, Paul, is a guy who not only didn’t like Jesus at first, he was responsible for putting to death people who promoted him. Likewise, one of the greatest Christian apologists of all time, C.S. Lewis, was once a staunch atheist. There’s nothing wrong with questioning Jesus. How else does one arrive at any truth if it is not questioned.) Any film that generates this kind of debate and discussion is one worth supporting and seeing.
Check here to see if there’s a showing in your area. Then, go out, make it a date night then discuss it with your date afterwards. Or get a group of friends to go and discuss it. Or go watch it by yourself and have your own personal introspection.
Be a part of making history.